(NOTE: I will also be publishing some off-series entries on this blog. File Under: Music Etc. Photo by VariousArtists)
Ever worked in an abusive hellhole of human toxicity? Sadly, I’ve had a few of those, including this mid-80s record store stint. My departure afforded me the opportunity to give some of the love back at them, with my exit strategy planned to inflict maximum pain upon my evil overlords. However, when the time came, my nightmare of a regional manager had a surprise of her own for me.
It was August 1987 in London, Ontario, and for the previous year I had been managing a store that was part of the XYZ Records chain (as I will call them), following a prior year as an assistant manager at another outlet.
XYZ had been an established, successful music retail chain in Canada since the 1950s. A few months before I began working for them in July ‘85, XYZ had been sold to a guy who was the middle-aged son of millionaires. He was also, by all counts, utterly whackadoodles. Continue reading →
016. End of the Party: The (English) Beat with R.E.M., Alumni Hall, UWO, London, Ontario, Canada, Tuesday April 12, 1983, $10.
In my memory-themed piece for the Boomtown Rats show, I pondered “In terms of the more review-centric pieces I am writing on contemporary shows, what am I leaving out now that I’d highlight later? What context and foreshadowing — invisible to me now — will become essential and evident as time passes?” This Beat/R.E.M. gig is a perfect specimen to examine through that lens. Continue reading →